Penn State Lacrosse Team Falls to No. 8 Notre Dame in Home Opener
Feb. 22, 2009
STATE COLLEGE, Pa - The Penn State Nittany Lion men's lacrosse team, receiving votes in the USILA Coaches Poll, dropped a hard-fought 13-8 decision to No. 8 Notre Dame in its home opener on Sunday. Penn State fell behind early but rallied late, only to have the Irish hold on for the non-conference victory.
The Fighting Irish took advantage of two early Penn State penalties to jump out to an early lead. Notre Dame's Jake Marmul opened up the scoring for Notre Dame with a man-up goal at the 11:51 and then Grant Krebs took a pass from Neal Hicks at the 8:38 mark in another man-up situation to put the Irish up 2-0. Hicks upped the lead to 3-0 before the first period ended with a goal at the 3:47 mark, taking a pass from Mike Creighton.
Notre Dame continued to set the tempo on offense, keeping action on its side of the field early in the second period. Penn State goalie Drew Adams (Springfield, Pa.) kept Penn State close, collecting seven saves in just over 16 minutes of play. Adams' defense allowed Penn State to score a man-up goal of its own at the 10:41 mark. Sophomore Chris Hogan (Wyckoff, N.J.) took a sharp pass from freshman Conrad Ridgway (Audubon, Pa.) and blast a goal past Irish keeper Scott Rodgers, cutting the lead to 3-1. Penn State began asserting itself offensively, shifting the action to Notre Dame's side of the field and forcing the Irish to play defense. But Penn State could not capitalize and Notre Dame's Duncan Swezey notched an unassisted goal with 5:24 left in the half to put the Irish back up by three, 4-1.
Junior Brian Shea (Gaithersburg, Md.) answered right back for Penn State, however, scoring unassisted with 3:45 remaining after Chris Mulqueen (Downingtown, Pa.) corralled a ground ball after a scramble near the Irish goal. But Hicks took advantage of a seam in front of the Penn State goal just two minutes later, taking a pass from Krebs, to put Notre Dame up 5-2 with under two minutes to play in the half. The Irish defense made that lead hold up heading into intermission.
Penalties continued to play a big part in the game as the third period started as Penn State's Ridgway scored a man-up goal less than a minute into the second half. Ridgway blasted a goal past the Irish keeper from the top of the box at the 14:14 mark to get the Nittany Lions to within two goals again, 5-3. The goal energized Penn State as freshman Jack Forster (Jenkintown, Pa.) made an outstanding offensive move at the 12:55 mark and cut the Irish lead to 5-4 with an unassisted goal. Notre Dame stopped Penn State's run just :55 later as Ryan Hoff scored off a rebound at the 12:00 mark, followed by David Earl's unassisted goal at the 11:25 mark.
The quick Irish goals gave Notre Dame a three point lead again, 7-4, less than four minutes into the third period. The visitors continued to pour it on after a Penn State time out as Hicks scored off a Dan Gibson assist seconds after the timeout, putting Notre Dame up 8-4 at the 10:55 mark. Action settled down after the early scoring flurry for both teams and the Irish maintained its four goal lead until pushing it to five (9-4) with a man-up goal from Matt Ciambella at the 1:26 mark.
Notre Dame started the scoring in the fourth period as Marmul scored on a fast break off the opening face-off to put Notre Dame up 10-4 at the 14:40 mark. Seven minutes went by before Penn State's Forster brothers connected at the 7:03 mark. Jack took a nice pass from brother Rob Forster (Jenkintown, Pa.) to cut the Irish lead to 10-5. The Nittany Lions added another goal right away as Hogan took a Mulqueen pass right in front of the goal to score and get Penn State to within four, 10-6, at the 6:17 mark. But Krebs answered right away with an unassisted goal at the 5:44 mark to give the Irish an 11-6 lead with under six minutes to play.
Rob Forster got his first goal of the game, taking a Mulqueen pass at the 4:55 mark to get Penn State to within four again, 11-7. Mulqueen assisted again on Penn State's next goal, this time feeding Colton Vosburgh (Kennett Square, Pa.) from behind the net and leading to a Vosburgh goal with 2:57 left in the game. Trailing by three, 11-8, Penn State looked to continue the comeback but Notre Dame was able secure their lead with another goal at the 1:46 mark as Hicks scored unassisted. Penn State was also hit for a slashing penalty on the play, forcing the Nittany Lions into man-down defense for the next minute as well. The Irish were able to work their way for a final goal as Davey Malera scored with :19 left to give Notre Dame a 13-8 victory.
Notre Dame outshot Penn State 42-40 while the Nittany Lions had slim 43-41 edge in ground balls. Adams ended the game with 16 saves while Rodgers had 20 for Notre Dame, including 13 in the second half. Notre Dame scored on three of four man-up chances while Penn State scored on both its man-up opportunities.
Penn State is 0-2 on the year while Notre Dame moves to 2-0. The Nittany Lions open up ECAC Lacrosse League play next Saturday when they welcome No. 17 Loyola to Holuba Hall for a 1 p.m. contest.
GAME SUMMARY: Penn State 8, #8 Notre Dame 13
GROUNDBALLS: PSU 43, ND 41 MAN-UP OPPS: PSU 2-2, ND 3-4
RECORDS: Penn State 0-2, Notre Dame 2-0